A Fighting Mentality: How Martial Arts Can Improve Your Mental Health

It’s no secret today that exercise and fitness can drastically change the mindset of an individual who may be experiencing stress, anxiety, or general melancholy. With the release of endorphins that comes with working out, you can enter the gym blue, and leave feeling like a brand new person. Aside from the obvious physical benefits that come with exercise, your mental health can greatly improve as well.

Martial arts have been around since the dawn of time, and have grown in popularity among fitness enthusiasts in recent years. Whether taking part in Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, or even boxing, individuals that harness the physical demands of these practices have found that their brains have benefitted just as much as their bodies. Through the focus and mental soundness required in martial arts comes an increase in mental stability.

Almost everyone today is aware of the dangers of high levels of stress. In addition to weight gain, this negative mental state can lead to heart attacks, migraines, and muscular pain throughout the body, all of which can be alleviated with a regular martial arts routine. If you are struggling with the mental exhaustion felt throughout your day, consider visiting your nearest gym or martial arts studio to see which practice is best for you. The constant movement and attention necessary can quickly take your mind off of the stress felt earlier in your day. Similarly, many styles of martial arts focus on breathing techniques, which promote emotional control and a sense of calmness.

On a more physical level, many martial arts practices let out a much needed aggression for certain people depending on the techniques used. Punching, kicking, and attacking heavy bags or a sparring partner can be incredibly relieving for someone who may have just had a stressful day. By letting out this anger and frustration, you are effectively venting rather than suppressing these emotions, which can lead to a wide range of mental and physical complications.

Confidence is yet another mental benefit that comes with practicing any form of martial art. Because of the physical demands required to perfect a certain practice, people who take part in this exercise often see results much faster than they would from simply running on a treadmill. Your form will improve over time, and with that, your physical capabilities. With this newfound confidence, you will also be able to apply it to both your career and personal life.

It isn’t rare in this day and age to see people seeking out alternative forms of medication rather than the standard prescriptions handed out haphazardly (see today’s opioid epidemic); one of those alternative treatments is practicing martial arts. For a true meditative practice that offers mental clarity, consider taking up any type of martial art, and work closely with a professional in order to improve not only your form, but your overall health as well.